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European Newspapers Vilify Goldwater

June 4, 1964 - Many European newspapers, from London to Moscow, expressed dismay today at Senator Barry Goldwater’s victory in the California Republican Presidential primary. Some expressed the hope that he could still be stopped from winning the nomination at the convention, which opens July 13 at San Francisco. A Canadian paper said: “He must be stopped.”

Until now, most European editors had considered the Arizona Senator a phenomenon from the Far West whose more extreme expressions on foreign policy were not to be taken very seriously.

But after California, editors went to unusual lengths in labeling Goldwater with such derogatory nicknames as “Rip Van Winkle” and “Dr. Strangewater” — not to mention a Moscow newspaper’s denunciation of him as a “Neanderthal man.”

An editorial in the London Daily Express said Britain should not rely on the U.S. for a nuclear shield if the Americans were going to elect a President like Goldwater. The Express editorial added:

“Goldwater’s striking success in the California and other primaries shows that many Americans share his isolationist tendencies. There is only one sure protection for British interests — our own independent strength.”

Amsterdam’s Christian Democratic paper Volksran maintained that for Goldwater even to come close to nomination was “proof of a not completely sound political climate in the U.S.”

Britain’s New Statesman, a pro-Labor weekly, called Goldwater “Dr. Strangewater” and expressed doubt that “responsible Republicans” could still stop him. The weekly added:

“America and the world must face the possibility that one of the candidates in the 1964 Presidential election will be a man who repudiates many of the fundamental doctrines of U.S. foreign policy.”

In Canada, The Toronto Star commented editorially:

“The victory of Senator Barry Goldwater in California’s Republican primary is, quite simply, terrifying. It’s terrifying not solely because the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth is threatened by a man whose immoral philosophy of force is a danger to every human being on the planet. Senator Goldwater with his foot in his mouth is a grotesquely amusing figure; President Goldwater with his finger on the missile button is not. Senator Goldwater is a dangerous man. He can be stopped by the Republican party. He must be stopped by the American people.”

The Soviet literary newspaper Literaturnaya Gazeta published its attack on Goldwater under the headline: “Career of a Neanderthal.”

“Barry Morris Goldwater intends to run for President of the U.S.,” the article said. “Hitler was not taken seriously at first, and that cost mankind dearly.”

The conservative Paris newspaper Aurore took another view, grouping the Senator’s success with indications that the U.S. was “taking a firmer attitude toward Communism.”

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